Peer Specialist Training and Certification

Via Hope operates the only statewide training and certification program for peer specialists that is recognized by the Department of State Health Services.

The original curriculum was developed by the Appalachian Consulting Group (ACG), the leading provider of peer specialist training in the United States. The curriculum has since been updated and expanded to reflect current knowledge and understanding of the peer workforce. The training is provided by experienced, part time trainers who are themselves Certified Peer Specialists and who work for Via Hope on a contract basis while continuing to work in the field.

The Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) course is a forty-three-hour training followed by a written certification exam. Participants must successfully complete both to become certified.  Once certified, a peer specialist must earn at least 20 CEUs every two years to maintain his or her certification.  Via Hope offers several Endorsement training events, which are designed to enhance individuals’ skills and knowledge in specialized areas.  The program is administered according to the policies in the Via Hope Certified Peer Specialist Policy and Procedure Manual.

For an application for the next Certification training, select the training event you are interested in. Please read the Training Application Supplement (linked below) before completing the application.


In addition to the basic certification training, Via Hope also provides:

For behavioral health organizations interested in learning more about the role of Certified Peer Specialists, Via Hope offers a one-day training, De-Mystifying the Peer Workforce: Strategies for Successful Peer Specialist Integration.  The training is provided by request, onsite at an organization. (Learn More)

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